Tulsa Optometrist Dry Eye Questions & Answers
Dry eye can be as puzzling as it is irritating. If you’re stumped by your Tulsa dry eye symptoms, here are answers to frequently-asked questions on the subject from the Harrel Eyecare team.
- What is dry eye? The term “dry eye” applies to a syndrome, or set of symptoms, associated with abnormal tear film. The tear film is the barrier of tear fluid that constantly bathes and coats the front of the eye.
- What is tear film made of? Tear film is a combination of three different layers. The mucin layer rests directly on the cornea, protecting it and helping the other ingredients “stick” to the eye. The water layer provides necessary moisture to keep the eye comfortable, clean and disease free. A layer of oil retains moisture and permits comfortable blinking.
- Why is the tear film balance so important? If any one of the tear film ingredients is out of balance with the others, your eye may not be able to hold moisture or protect themselves against outside threats. (A lack of overall tear production is just as bad.)
- What factors can contribute to dry eye? Age, medications and underlying health conditions can cause or contribute to dry eye. A blockage of the eyelid’s melbomian glands can impair oil production. Windy environments, even from an overhead fan, can dry the eyes. If you spend too much time staring at your computer monitor, you may not blink frequently enough to replenish your tear film. Even the wrong kind of contact lenses can produce dry eye.
- What are the symptoms of dry eye? Dry eye can cause redness, itching, burning, eye fatigue, blurred vision, abnormal light sensitivity and the feeling that something gritty is stuck in your eye. Ironically, watery eyes can also be a symptom of dry eye syndrome — a futile attempt by the tear glands to compensate for inadequate tear film.
- Why do I need to treat my case of Tulsa dry eye? Don’t assume that your Tulsa dry eye problem is just a minor annoyance. The longer your eyes go with the proper lubrication, hydration and protection, the more vulnerable they are to foreign bodies and diseases. The corneas can even develop ulceration and scarring.
- How does my optometrist confirm that I have dry eye? Your Tulsa optometrist on our four-practitioner team will run a variety of simple tests to evaluate the volume and composition of your tears while also asking you about your medical history, lifestyle, current symptoms and any medications you may be taking.
- How do you treat my dry eye? We can prescribe a number of options to treat your dry eye. Our MiBoflow treatment can get blocked oil glands operating normally again, while eye drops and moisture-retaining contacts can keep your eye hydrated. We can also recommend lifestyle changes to help you keep your eyes properly moisturized at work, at home or outdoors.
Looking for Dry Eye Treatment in Tulsa?
We’ve got the answers to your dry eye issues here at Harrel Eyecare. Call (918) 745-9662 to schedule dry eye treatment in Tulsa!